Headscratchers / Heroes Matt

Is Janice's child actually Matt's or not?
You would think it had to be given what happens in Five Years Gone, and his hallucination of Janice also seems to suggest that it is his. But then why didn't he go back to her?
  • She did cheat on him, y'know.
  • All we knew in "Five Years Gone" was that his son was named after him and they thought it likely that he would have a power. Nothing was said about him manifesting. It seems likely that the government may have been capturing whole families at that point just to be safe, given that Noah was in the business of relocating whole families at a time.
  • I was under the impression that he'd already dealt with that. But I suppose we'll have to wait for the next season to get some proper answers.
  • Baby Stop-and-Go definitely has an ability, and indeed has already manifested one. Could Matt have been lying to Noah in "Five Years Gone", perhaps because he feared Noah wouldn't keep protecting Matt Jr. if he knew the kid's power was so erratic and might give away his and Janice's hiding place?

Speaking of Molly Walker, Matt is a police detective, complete with the access to personal records.
He knows his father's name and appearance. How could knowing what building his father lived in possibly have not been enough for him to find the guy? Why did he need to push a child he has done nothing but protect to get him the exact room number?
  • Matt gets to carry the Idiot Ball a lot.
  • Also, he tends to hang around with Mohinderance, whose superpower seems to be making everyone around him into a gormless idiot.
  • To be fair, Mr. Parkman was in Philadelphia, which is kinda-sorta-really out of Matt's jurisdiction. We also do not know where the father was when he left.
    • True. And someone from NYPD can't just turn up at the Philadelphia PD and start demanding that they help him get the names of the people in the building, so the only other option would be a door-to-door search, which would be more likely to alert his father. His father who probably has superpowered abilities and therefore should be given as little notice as possible...
      • Even without the connections that a cop would have, once he learned the city, he could have at least checked the white pages (not to mention the various online databases) before endangering the kid. That is, unless he regularly searched said databases across the entire country for his father, and knew he wasn't listed under his real name, which I doubt.
      • Where's your guarantee that he didn't check all those sources, and came out with nothing? Just because it happens offscreen doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Why couldn't it have been a talking turtle?
It would've been awesome if Matt developed the ability to talk to animals! But mysterious African guy just had to ruin it.
  • Better eye-candy potential than the turtle?
  • Because a tortoise would think rrrreeeeeaaaalllllyyyyy ssssllllooooowwwwwwllllyyyyy, and eat up too much screen time per conversation?
  • Probably because talking animals have been associated with cartoons and comedies for so long that seeing them in a serious live-action show or movie would result in Narm for most people. Besides, the animal would have to be sentient to provide a meaningful conversation.
  • But you have to admit, giving Matt the ability to read animals' minds would have been awesome.
  • Particularly since Mr. Muggles seems to be the only one around who regularly has a clue.
  • Desert-turtle, desert-turtle. Does whatever a desert-turtle does. Can he talk to Matt Parkman? No, he can't, he's a turtle. Look out, it's Matt Parkman's turtle. (Missed opportunity? Debatable. Implausible? Nooot really.)

When Matt came back from Africa.
  • Shouldn't he have run into trouble with immigration? He'd ended up in Africa without going through the proper channels, so shouldn't there have been some sort of trouble coming back (alright, maybe he did offscreen and maybe I'm looking too deep...)
    • Justified: Matt has mind-control powers. Almost every problem here can be resolved by his or his father's magical mind powers.
      • "You don't need to see my identification. I can go about my business..."
      • "... This isn't the tortoise you're looking for."

Why did they have to bring back the drawing the future thing?
I thought they were cleaning it up by taking care of the time-travelers (except for Daphne with an assist from Ando), and all the precognitives except Angela, but then Usutu shows up to give Matt prophecy powers. D Do they really think they just can't do this show without this particular plot device? Is it really that central? And why make Matt of all people a prophet? Perhaps most importantly: how can you possibly square this with the notion that genetic mutations are the cause of these powers? It is, at best, really straining the limits of Powers as Programs—but that doesn't explain why his appearance and personality seem to be coming along for the ride too.
  • This does seem to confirm that a god of some sort is behind at least some of this.

The whole scene with Matt and the suicide bomber vest...
Just the whole shebang.
The fact that they set up a sniper team to shoot Matt before they send in the bomb squad.
The fact that the bomb squad - once they do show up - sit on their butts and don't actually try to disarm the bomb, leaving a desperate and drugged Matt to do the job himself after telepathically reading their minds.
The fact that the aforementioned officers allow a civilian (a US Senator, no less) to get close to the "dangerous terrorist" that they won't go near.
The fact that nobody among the aforementioned officers seems to be capable of differentiating - at close range - the difference between a panicky man calling for help and a hard-boiled terrorist shouting threats.
The fact that nobody among the aforementioned officers seems to be aware that it is not unheard of for hostages to be fitted with explosive vests and then abandoned.
  • Hell, yes. Also: why did Danko think this would indict superpowered people? First, it doesn't prove their existence; second, it doesn't prove Matt's one of them.
    • For the same reason that he assumed that Peter shooting him in the head would indict superpowered people. That is, we have no idea.
    • Danko's intentions in provoking Peter and setting Matt up to look like a suicide bomber were not intended to expose the existence of powered people - they were intended to provide hard evidence that the people he is hunting are truly dangerous terrorists who need to be killed, not captured. As much as he hates/fears powered people, Danko seems to be willing to keep their existence a secret, if only because the President's orders probably dictate it.
      • That doesn't make sense, the government already knows that Supers are dangerous. Sylar's murdered two full SWAT teams of federal agents by himself at this point. Danko being shot by a handgun in his home doesn't make supers appear any more dangerous than your average gangbanger, and Matt's suicide vest doesn't make him appear any more dangerous than your average terrorist. Nothing about those situations suggests the special dangers that Supers present, in order to justify killing them all.
      • Danko doesn't need to make the supers look more dangerous than a regular terrorist - he needs to make them look like regular terrorists. Right now, the moral sticking point with Nathan's plan is that the vast majority of the people he can identify as Supers just want to live normal lives and aren't criminals. Hence Nathan's orders to capture alive, except in the cases of known threats like Sylar, which is forcing Danko and his men - who are used to "kill everyone" missions - to hold back more than they like. Danko's goal is not the exposure of superpowers to the public but to get his orders changed so that he and his men can start killing these people he sees as a dangerous threat. Basically, it's all rank-pulling and dick-waving with Nathan.
  • 1) They think he's a suicide bomber. Shooting him before he triggers the switch is their only real option. 2) The bomb squad isn't going to approach and defuse the bomb if said suicide bomber is still wearing it. 3) They allowed Petrelli to approach because he told them he could negotiate. 4) Could be a panicky man calling for help, or it could be a crazy man trying to lure more cops into the blast radius. 5) Fair point.

How did Matt get back across the country by bus, overnight in An Invisible Thread?
Last we saw him in the episode before, he was holding off government troops at his wife's house in Los Angeles. First time we see him in An Invisible Thread, he's just getting off the bus on the same day that Hiro and Ando attack Building 26. This in spite of the fact that Matt was with his family the night before, at the same time that Hiro and Ando were making their first attempt to freeze time around Building 26. It doesn't add up!
  • Simple. He didn't go across the country at all. He just made everyone think he did.
  • Mind-controlled the bus driver into not stopping all night? But really, all evidence in Heroes suggests that their America is about the size of New Jersey. In particular, Ando and Hiro's storyline in season 1 can only lead one to assume that Los Angeles and New York are basically right next to each other.
    • Even if he mind-controlled the bus driver to drive all-out (and mind-controlled the other passengers not to need to eat), it's still a few days drive. It's a plot hole, he should have just Jedi'd himself onto a plane again.

And speaking of Matt in that episode...
Why was he so easily convinced to come back and help Nathan? They were friends once, but not anymore (especially since he bears some of the responsibility for Daphne's death). And Matt hasn't even been around for Nathan's recent change of heart.
  • For that matter, given how strongly against the plan he was in the first place, why not just tell Noah and Angela to forget their plan, kill Sylar and then just mind-control all the Secret Service agents AND The President to remember Nathan dying a hero's death to kill Sylar and save The President? He's powerful enough to do it and given how much he's been jerked around by Angela and Noah respectively, it's not like he'd hesitate.
  • Hell, yes. He doesn't still carry a grudge for getting shot four times, and for the murder of his adopted daughter's parents? Matt's treatment of Sylar should have been like the Haitian's treatment of Baron Samedi, IMO. And then they should have caved in his head, scooped out his brains, cut them into pieces, burned the pieces, invented a machine that can burn things that have already been burned and do that, taken the ash-ashes and baked them into some bread, taken the bread to parks across the world, and then fed it to ducks.
    • And then when they're gone, we zoom in on one of the ducks and hear a mysterious ticking noise.
      • Hold the phone.Matt's got massive mental powers,so how do we know he didn't just make angela and noah think he made sylar think he was nathan

One more beef with Matt...
He made a huge mistake in his big scene. He should have commanded Sylar to shapeshift into Nathan instead of counting on him to do it automatically. What would they have done if Sylar had woken up looking the same but still thinking he was Nathan (who can't shapeshift)?

How does Matt keep getting work as a cop?
Think about it - he was drummed out of the FBI following his failed raid on Primatech in Season One. He was almost fired from his beat-cop post with the LAPD after he tried being honest about why the raid failed. He was fired from his bodyguarding job after - uh - the person he was supposed to be guarding died. The only reason he got hired by the NYPD in Season 2 was because he used his powers to ace the detective test. He was presumably fired for his extended leave of absence during the first part of Season 3 and was back to looking for bodyguard jobs by mid-season. And as Season 4 is opening, he's a detective with the LAPD.
  • Not to mention, during season 3/volume 4 he was on national TV wearing a bomb vest. There ain't a Mind Whammy big enough to get that stain off your jacket.

Matt's finding of the "ransom note"

While I'm sure Matt was too excited/angered about finding the ransom note to care, shouldn't he have noticed that something was up when he was actually able to read the thing? I mean his dsylexia should have made it impossible to tell what the note was saying anyway.

  • Sylar was pulling the strings on Matt emotionally as well as mentally, so it's probable that Sylar prevented Matt from thinking that.

Matt being the biggest Butt-Monkey ever.

For all the grief Peter gets about being a Peter Parker Expy, Matt is the only character who comes even close to equaling Peter Parker in misery and suffering. His powers have caused him nothing but grief; first by giving him crippling headaches and then by allowing him to see that the rest of the world - including his wife - saw him as a big, fat joke. His powers also allowed him to find out his wife was having an affair with his partner and there's evidence she is STILL sleeping with other men as well (i.e. the water cooler guy) while they are supposed to be trying to reconcile.

Even after Matt Took A Level In Bad Ass and figured out how to control minds as well as reading them, he never had a chance to be a major influence on the story. The only real victories he had were when fighting the telepathic father who abandoned him as a boy and freeing Angela from Arthur's mind-control. He also developed a "draw the future" power that has so far proven worthless, except for showing Matt a vision of Washington DC blowing up that didn't happen.

Things started looking up when he found out that there was another woman (Daphne) who was destined to be his soul-mate and wife, but that she was going to die after having a child with him. Somehow that future was averted, only for Daphne to die a WHOLE lot earlier than the prophecies said she was supposed to.

And then in this volume, when he finally get a chance to strike out against the Big Bad and Matt does something truly heroic in trying to imprison Sylar... he finds out that not only can he not control Sylar, Sylar can use Matt's own power against him from inside his head and he's a LOT better at using it than Matt has ever been!

Oh, and despite all the weirdness in her life thus far? Matt's wife STILL doesn't believe him when he tells her that he's trapped a bad man inside his head but that he's losing the battle for control. To add insult to injury, Sylar took control of Matt's body while he was having sex... and his wife liked what Sylar did a whole lot better.

Matt has suffered a lot... but being cockled by the villain while in his own body... I think we can hearby crown Matt Parkman King of the Butt Monkeys.
  • Not really Matt's fault, I suppose... blame the writers and the fact that Sylar is a living, breathing, eyebrows-need-plucking Plot Tumor.
  • It Got Worse. Sylar frames Parkman for multiple murders while controlling his body, and finally baits Matt into revealing what happened with Nathan. Parkman realizes that he has to stop Sylar, and makes a heroic sacrifice by tricking Sylar into committing suicide by cop. It's a fantastic finale for his character (and Sylar's), where finally, finally, finally someone outsmarts Sylar and wins....only for it to be undone in half an episode when Peter heals him.